Iowa to NH: You Just Don’t Get it

Friday, 20 May 2011 12:00 PM

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The brouhaha between Republican activists in the two states that hold the earlier primary contests continued Friday with Iowa firing back at New Hampshire about which state most reflects the country’s GOP. This time, an Iowa-based consultant wrote on Op-Ed piece published Friday in the New Hampshire Union-Leader.

iowa, new hampshire, gopThe rift started when former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party Fergus Cullen questioned the Iowa caucuses’ relevancy to the GOP presidential primary since they’re dominated by social and religious conservatives. Cullen made the remarks in an Op-Ed published in The Des Moines Register.

Graham Gillette, who contributes to a political blog for the Register, said Cullen misses the point.

“Cullen incorrectly sets two conditions that must be met for the early states to remain relevant to the presidential nominating process. He says all candidates must have an equal shot, and the voters of these early states must be broadly representative of the party as a whole.

“The very reason why the parties have a state-by-state nominating process is precisely because no state reflects the national whole. Iowans have different concerns than do New Hampshirites. New Yorkers’ perspectives differ from those of South Carolinians.”

The states that go first in the deciding the party’s nominee do so to counterbalance the built-in advantages of large states, Cullen said.

“Iowa and New Hampshire don’t go first because their voters mirror Americans as a group. They go first because the personal, hand-to-hand campaign a candidate must run in these states is different than the TV-centric efforts he or she must run to succeed in the large states.”

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